Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dhaulagiri - Viswa Shanti Stupa


Had a few hours to kill before my flight from Bhubaneswar. So thought of stopping by Dhaulagiri. Dhaulagiri is a small hillock surrounded by plains, around 7 km from the State capital. Dhauli, as it is locally known, is believed to be the place where the famous (or rather infamous) Kalinga war was fought in 260 BC. Over 150,000 lives were lost in the bitter battle. It is said the waters of the nearby river Daya had turned blood red due to the merciless bloodbath.

Dhaulagiri, Shanti Stupa, Buddha, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Despite emerging victorious, the huge loss of life and suffering witnessed in the battlefield transformed King Ashoka from Chandashoka to Dharmashoka, from a tyrant ruler to a benevolent king. He renounced war forever by offering his sword at the feet of Lord Buddha. He embraced Buddhism and became one of its biggest proponents. The king had 84000 stupas built and sent them to places as far as distant Greece with peace messengers. Ashoka The Great is today remembered, among the other things, for his work in establishing peace among nations.

Buddha at Dhaulagiri, Shanti Stupa, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

A number of edicts of King Ashoka can be seen engraved on mass of rocks by the road side near the summit of the hill. The edicts are written in Prakrit language, the then language of the common masses, using the Brahmi script. In these edicts, Kind Ashoka has declared his doctrine of paternalism, accepting all men as his children, and urged the administrators to work for the welfare of the common man.

Sculpture, wall panel, Dhaulagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Bodhi Tree

The Shanti Stupa at Dhaulagiri, also known as the Peace Pagoda, is built at the summit of Dhauli hills. It is a dazzling white pagoda symbolizing world peace. The Shanti Stupa was built jointly by the Nipponzan Myohoji, a Japanese Buddhist Sangha founded by Nichidatsu Fujii or Fujii Guruji as he was called, and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha in 1972.

Sculpture, wall panel, Dhaulagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Buddha

The pagoda dome has five umbrellas at the top signifying five essential parts of Buddhism. The walls of the pagoda is adorned by beautiful stone panels which included the Bodhi Tree, an elephant procession and King Ashoka offering his sword in front of Lord Buddha.

Buddha Statue, Dhaulagiri, Shanti Stupa, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

122 comments:

  1. Nice write up. I liked the pictures as well.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment :)

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  3. Enlightening piece of work!!...:-)

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    1. That's a rather interesting word to use in this context...enlightening. Reminded me of my school lesson on Gautam Buddha :)

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  4. It is great that a place with such a tragic history turned into such a beautiful peaceful place.
    As always love the captures.

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    1. This just proves that even from the worst of incidents something good can come up. After the bitter war, King Ashoka became the benevolent ruler the world came to know.

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  5. It was a remarkable post, as always, Ramakant. I'm so glad that you did the research into the images.

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    1. Nice to see you here after a long time. I was quite lucky to get a knowledgeable guide during my visit. And later I looked up some more to verify the facts.

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  6. A beautiful tribute to a great peacemaker. The history is rich and the sights are wonderful, great shots. Thank you for sharing this rich bit of history with us.

    Have a fantastic week!

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    1. Happy that you enjoyed the post. You too have a great week ahead!

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  7. The details are amazing, the architecture wonderful.

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  8. So you had been at Bhubaneswar, my home-city!

    In December every year a 'Dhauli Festival' of dances is organised at the foot-hill of Dhauli.

    Well-known artistes from all over India are invited to present different dance-forms of India. Attending this Festival is a heavenly experience.

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    1. My native is Sambalpur. Whenever I visit home, I have a stop at Bhubaneswar. The Dhauli festival sounds like a fantastic event. Will see if I can plan something for December. Will be wonderful to watch the event live.

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  9. Great photographs. I bet you had a fun day.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2013/06/musical-monday-lets-do-time-warp-again.html

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    1. It was quite fun. I actually had around 5 hrs before my flight and I will say the time was well spent :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

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  11. Me encantan las fotos..me nudo viaje te pegas,,,un abarzo desde Murcia..

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  12. Lovely capture...serenity at its best!!!

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    1. Hmm...it is the very embodiment of world peace :)

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  13. Great photos and history - stunning

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  14. lovely description with beautiful images...

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    1. Nice of you to drop by Vineeta. Thanks for the kind words!

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  15. You don't fine architecture like that much these days.

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    1. True. We are past the era of beautiful architectural wonders. These days we celebrate feats of engineering :)

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  16. Great history -- I am glad he turned his efforts to establishing peace. I wish more world leaders would do that! It is a beautiful temple , breathtaking really!

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    1. And I guess that made so much difference. He was instrumental in so many people friendly policies and development work. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. This post reflects peace in so many ways... love the captures as always and the history associated with the place, many thanks for taking us on a beautiful arm chair travel full of calm and serenity.

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    1. Happy you enjoyed the post Arti. Thanks for leaving behind such a thoughtful comment.

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  18. I visited it in my Master field trip on the way to Bhuvaneshwar from Puri and really liked it...we visited it at sundown and the white of the stupa against fading sunlight was totally amazing!!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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    1. I wish I could have waiting till dusk. But I had a flight to catch. Maybe another time.

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  19. Wonderful images ! wish I could see this place someday :)

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    1. Thank you Uma for stopping by. No reason why you can't see it sometime. Odisha has quite a few beautiful offerings on the tourist map.

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  20. Beautiful places..unfortunately never been able to visit there..:(
    Nice clicks..like always..:)

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    1. I have been through Bhubaneswar multiple times, but this was my first visit to Dhaulagiri :)
      You can plan to stop by next time you are in the city.

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  21. simply beautifully captured shots...lovely reading about the place!

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    1. Thank you Kalyan. Good to know you enjoyed the post.

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  22. It's fun to be a wandering traveler and to go about clicking pictures, right? :) You do a great job! :)
    WHat camera do you use btw? :P

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    1. Travelling is fun, no questions on that. Thanks for the compliment :)
      I mostly use a Canon 40D during my travels.

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  23. This is a very beautiful structure which looks very peaceful indeed. Thanks for the interesting information as well as your wonderful photos.

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    1. Good to know you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. This must be such a magnificent place to visit.
    Thank you for taking us along with you!

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    1. Happy you found the post enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. It's so beautiful and peaceful now, hard to imagine that bloody history!

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    1. Quite true. It has quite a checkered past. Thanks for stopping by.

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  26. I'm a bit of a history buff, so I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and of course, your pictures. (ALWAYS love your photos.)

    A couple years ago, a temple not too many miles from us was completed. It's supposed to be the largest in North America, I believe, and on top of its gorgeous architecture, what amazes me about it is its bright whiteness. It glows so white in the sunshine, it's startling. And after dark, lights of various colors glow to keep it luminated during the night. If I ever go that way in the near future, I'll have to carry my camera.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. Such comments do encourage me to do a better job when clicking pictures.

      You should take a few pictures of the temple sometime. Especially when there is a festive occasion, the environment is quite charged up and presents lovely photo opportunities.

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  27. Hello!
    I am charmed by your article. It's great.
    Your photos are excellent.
    This is what you show to me is new, Oriental.
    I'm glad that you visited my blog.
    I send greetings.
    Lucia

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    1. Greeting to you too. Happy that you liked your visit to my blog. Hope to see you here more often.

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  28. Beautiful Photos.
    Thanks for your visit and kind comments.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice comment :)

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  29. Great pictures of King Ashoka, and the story.

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    1. Thank you Bob for the kind words. Nice to see you here.

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  30. Interesting history and beautiful fotografie.Co event has already happened to our own Earth, evil and good. It seems that many people still have not learned from the mistakes of history.

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    1. I agree. We, as a human race, seldom learn from history until its too late. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

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  31. Beautifully composed images of some amazing places :)

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    1. It's a beautiful place. Thank you Ruth for leaving a nice comment :)

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  32. Nice place, exquisite photos and bright, beautiful works of art ...!

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    1. I am happy you like the art and enjoyed the post.

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  34. beautiful statuary. sad about the loss of lives in that battle, though.

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    1. It's sad. But something good came out of the horror as the king was transformed to a benevolent ruler post this horrible war.

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  35. What a history this place has - nice photos.

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    1. It does have quite a checkered past, doesn't it :)
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  36. What a beautiful place. I love the statues.

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    1. It is a very beautiful place. Thanks for stopping by.

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  37. That is very unique, umbrellas at the top of pagoda. Beautiful structure and the statues are grand!

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    1. It maybe a unique feature of this pagoda. I don't recall seeing anything similar at Sanchi, which is the only other Pagoda I have visited. Thanks for stopping by.

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  38. Nice Pictures..Place is worth visiting..

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  39. Lovely captures and interesting information

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  40. The stone work on these buildings is an endless source of images - great pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I concur. They will whet any photographer's appetite :)
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  41. Great captured, lovely photos. A lot to see!

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    1. Nice to see you here. Thanks for the lovely comment.

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  42. Love the architecture and details! Awesome captures!

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    1. Thank you Veronica. Appreciate your lovely comment :)

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  43. Interesting monuments and beautiful sculptures. In spite of such examples, it is shocking to think that wars have continued (with increasing firepower) over the centuries. It makes me wonder if the human race can ever live at peace? Ours is one of the rare species that kills other members of the same species and members of other species, for reasons other than food. Pathetic.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Our species suffers from lack of trust and at the same time is endowed with superior intelligence. What else is to be expected?

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  44. Beautiful place, you visit looks like it was very rewarding for you.

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    1. It was a very rewarding visit. Nice of you to drop by :)

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  45. A beautiful stupa and rich history left behind.

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  46. Your pictures are very good, I love the beautiful white building in the first one.

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    1. Thank you Ginny for the lovely words. Glad you enjoyed your visit :)

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  47. You really got some great pictures, and I'm glad you shared the history with your readers, that makes them even more special to see.

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging words. I am glad you enjoyed reading the history of the place in addition to the pictures.

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  48. thank you for the tour. The carving is amazing.
    And thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the virtual tour of Dhauli. You too have a fantastic week.

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  49. what an amazing pictorial tour! loved seeing your wonderful photos. thanks also for the history behind them...

    i just love india and its culture.
    and your blog!

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    1. And I am glad having a wonderful reader like you. Happy you liked the post :)

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  50. Wonderful shots of the place. Thanks for reminding me of visit to this place.

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    1. It sure is a wonderful place. Glad the post could remind you of some good memories :)

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  51. Beautiful building and sculptures, thanks for sharing the images and descriptions, very interesting!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for leaving behind a nice comment :)

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  52. Wow beautiful Ramakant! I'd been here recently and the Buddha here is magnificent.

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    1. It's quite an impressive place. Nice you know you visited it recently. Were you on an Odisha tour?

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  53. Your place is amazing..
    lovely blog you have Sir..
    thanks for visiting me and giving me the opportunity to land here :)

    hope to see you more !!

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    1. Nice to see you here. Happy you enjoyed your first visit :)

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  54. Wonderful pictures :-). Every sculpture has a different finish? Just curious.

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    1. There were different flavours of sculpture in the stone panels. I have just put up a few of the pictures I clicked.

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  55. The stupas and the sculptures are classic! Just beautiful, and couldn't simply take my eyes off!

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    1. The stupa is indeed quite beautiful. Happy you enjoyed the pictures :)

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  56. A small town with so much history. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing this, even your readers can plan a visit there when they are in Bhubaneswar.

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    1. I'll be happy if my readers find information on this blog useful. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

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  57. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and also your knowledge of this wonderful place. I remember reading about Ashoka in history class in Malaysia... :)

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    1. I hope this post was a good refresher for you in that case. Nice to see you here :)

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  58. I like reading your blog and have nominated you for the ABC Award. The details are available at:
    http://hindustanisakhisaheli.blogspot.com/p/recognitions.html
    :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for considering me good enough for this award. Appreciate it :)

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  59. This one is different from the one at Delhi and Leh. So well brought out

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    1. I guess so. The only other stupa I have seen was the one at Sarnath and that was definitely different from this one. Thanks for stopping by.

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Tryst with the Shutter Bug by Ramakant Pradhan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.